Nursing Research Grants
On April 1, 2020, the American Nurses Foundation announced that the Nursing Research Grants program was being suspended, due to uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 global health crisis. At that time, the Foundation anticipated having new plans in place by August 1st. As the pandemic worsened and persisted, however, it became increasingly clear that it would not be possible to proceed in any normal fashion in 2020. Our existing researchers were, almost without exception, unable to carry out work planned or already in progress. Most academic institutions were closed or severly curtailed. Clinical settings were under duress, coping with the demands of the crisis. Foundation staff were redeployed, focused on creating and managing the Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses and a new suite of programs to support nursing in the pandemic. Our own endowments were experiencing valuation changes with market fluctuations, and our funding partners were confronted by similar situations, as well as operational budget shortfalls in a contracting economy.
At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted inequities in the health care system. Social determinants of health, implicit and explicit biases, racism and more have been featured in the media during this pandemic playing a role in these inequities. The ANA Enterprise, and the Foundation board, have given attention to these issues, the impact on the profession of nursing, and the implications for our work as an institution, industry leader, and employer.
For all these reasons, we determined that it is neither prudent nor feasible to carry out a typical RFP process for grant awards in 2020 and 2021. However, that does not mean that there will be no research awards. In keeping with both the terms of the fund endowments that we steward with great care, and the spirit of innovation we have used to respond to these unprecedented circumstances, Foundation staff have devised an alternative means of supporting critical research on important topics at this critical juncture.
In December 2020, the Foundation awarded two nursing leadership research grants from our own funds; resources contributed by our partners were held for future use under shared agreement.
In 2021 we plan to issue targeted, commissioned research grants. These grants, though fewer in number than previous years, will be larger in size, and more strategically targeted to address topics that are essentially pertinent at this time, and consistent with the ANAE strategic plan, Foundation core interests, and the purposes of endowed funds.
The Foundation will support new, innovative research studying:
- Nursing leadership's role in the impact and response to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Nursing leadership's role in addressing health care inequities
As conditions continue to evolve, and as we gain experience in this new mode of research endeavors and partnerships, we will continue to assess the best strategies for engaging nurse researchers in transforming nursing.
For more information contact Karen Schofield-Leca, Director of Development, at email@example.com or 301-628-5095.
Past researcher profiles
Ann Kutney-Lee, PhD, RN
Shaping care practices through nursing research - 2013
With support from the American Nurses Foundation, Ann Kutney-Lee, PhD, RN, studied emerging Magnet® hospitals to find out how this recognition influences outcomes. “These results will provide some of the first longitudinal evidence of the relationship between Magnet credentialing and the outcomes of nurses and the patients they care for,” she explained.
Emily Tuthill, BSN, RN
Shaping care practices through nursing research - 2013
In 2013, 20 projects in total were funded, including one submitted by Emily Tuthill, BSN, RN, who studies health behavior change among breastfeeding HIV-positive mothers in South Africa. “Through applying behavioral change theory we aim to provide a practical and innovative approach to increase the practice of exclusive breastfeeding, which is the cornerstone to public health measures focused on child survival and improved overall infant health.”
Amanda Brown, MSN, RN, CPN, CNL
Pediatric nurses’ assessment of procedural pain in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder - 2012
Ever since Amanda Brown began studying for her PhD at the University of Florida, she knew she wanted to study autism in children. “It’s important to assess pain in anyone,” says Brown. “Pain that is un-assessed or unrecognized goes untreated, and increased suffering can extend healing time in patients of all ages.” This is especially critical for children who are developmentally delayed. Brown’s research focused on the work of pediatric acute care nurses at Wolfson Children’s Hospital, but hopes the study will lead to an improvement in the whole inpatient experience for children with autism.
Bronwyn Long, DNP, MBA, RN, ACHPN, AOCNS
Improving quality of life in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by integrating palliative approaches to dyspnea, anxiety, and depression - 2012
As the Lung Cancer Center program coordinator at National Jewish Health, the leading respiratory hospital in the nation, Bronwyn Long was regularly seeing patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a term for respiratory disorders such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. “Over time COPD patients lose the ability to be active,” says Long. “It’s a source of real frustration.” Using palliative care — customized medicine that focuses on bringing comfort to a patient — Long is looking to ease the physical, social, intellectual, and existential distresses that accompany the disease. “The goal is to make life more tolerable on a day-to-day basis.”
Tanyka Smith, MS, FNP-Certified, RN
Sexual protective strategies and condom use among older African American women - 2010
The Foundation’s work with nurse scholars like Smith helps to advance the understanding of HIV prevention. “I am focused on understanding and addressing health disparities among ethnic minorities — with a specific focus on HIV prevention in African-American women. The Foundation's funding was vital in providing me with the foundation for gaining ‘hands on’ experience as a novice nurse scientist that is essential for my ultimate development into an independent researcher.”
Linda Finch, PhD, RN
Uncovering the science behind the value of caring - 2004
When Dr. Finch made her first attempt to garner a Foundation grant, she was not successful. But because reviewers' took the time to offer their advice, she was able to resubmit a stronger research proposal, which led to her becoming a 2004 Foundation scholar. "I wanted to understand how caring is perceived by nurses and patients, what they viewed as caring behaviors, and what it is that moves patients positively toward better outcomes," Finch says.
Barbara Medoff-Cooper, PhD, RN, CRNP, FAAN
Bolstering the science of infant development - 1983
In 1983, Barbara Medoff-Cooper, PhD, CRNP, RN, FAAN, used her Foundation grant to study what was close to her heart—infant development. "I was seeing a number of preemies in the office," says Medoff Cooper, a Pennsylvania State Nurses Association member. "Their parents were having problems taking care of them, because the babies were so crabby, so difficult." So for her dissertation, she and a colleague went to the parents' homes and collected a range of data about the babies. The goal of her research project was to see how those factors typically influenced the babies' temperament and development at six months of age.
Jean McSweeney, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN
Women and heart health - 1983
Jean McSweeney has always been interested in the human heart. She worked for many years as a critical care nurse, where she routinely provided care to cardiac patients in the ICU. “I soon realized that we didn’t know enough about women and cardiovascular disease,” says McSweeney, an Arkansas Nurses Association member.
For her first post-dissertation research in 1993, she decided to focus on women. Through that study, she learned that some women attributed their Myocardial Infarctions (MIs) to smoking, being overweight, or a lifestyle that was either too stressful or too sedentary. One of her key findings was that women were willing to change whatever they viewed as the primary cause of their heart attack, such as quitting smoking
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